AI To Impact

PODCAST: AI for the Digital Enterprise

Episode 1: Making AI Real for Enterprises

Listening time: 10 minutes

Making AI Real for Enterprises

In the first episode of our AI to Impact Podcast, host Aruna Babu engages in a QnA with Prithvijit Roy, CEO & Co-Founder of BRIDGEi2i on ‘Making AI Real for Enterprises’. They discuss how Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been instrumental in aiding digital transformation efforts for several industries and in powering newer business models. Tune in to the podcast to know more about value realization with AI and the importance of roadmaps for increased AI adoption. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast!

Hi! You’re listening to AI to Impact by BRIDGEi2i, a podcast on AI for the digital enterprise. My name is Aruna Babu, and I’m a transformation consultant who spent a good part of the last decade crafting strategies that marry business, technology, and user needs. In this series, I’m going to be sitting down with business leaders and AI and analytics experts who’ll share their views on what AI for the digital enterprise means and how do you make AI real for an organization. Today, I’m going to be picking the brains of a CXO who’s been among the top 10 influential analytics leaders in India four times in a row. No mean feat! Prithvijit Roy or Jit as he’s often called. He’s the CEO and the co-founder of BRIDGEi2i Analytics, one of the fastest-growing AI and data science firms in India. Hi, Jit Thank you so much for making time.

Jit: Thanks, Aruna – pleasure talking to you.

Aruna: All right. Let’s get right to it. So the AI for enterprises narrative has been gaining a lot of steam lately. What’s really your take on it?

Jit: We live in a very new world where consumers are getting used to a lot of digital experiences, and that’s thanks to mobile, social and other concepts. Hence enterprises are also adopting these digital models and re-engineering their operations. They are leveraging online marketplaces, they’re using IoT, digital products and services. And interestingly, all of these digital models generate humongous amount of data. And AI and analytics is really the backbone of such digital models helping them drive automated decisions. So yeah, the artificial intelligence is really the process of intelligent automation. It senses data at a glance and helps driving actions. So, AI is starting to become the core of the digital enterprise.

Aruna: OK, so you spoke about AI becoming the core for digital enterprises. With this sort of transformation taking center stage, what kind of changes do you really see in the enterprise executive charter?

Jit: I think the world has given this a name – Digital transformation and I think it’s really a necessity in most businesses today either to survive in this marketplace or to remain competitive. Today, you see most CEOs that are actually driving that agenda for digital transformation.

So why digital transformation? Obviously, the focus is to tie back to enhance business outcomes. And three types of outcomes, really.

How does digital help increase customer experience and enhance the revenue from existing customers?

Look at how to drive more effectiveness and efficiency in the way businesses are run?

And find new ways of making money/revenue; for example, they have collected a lot of data over time in their business. Can they monetize that and create a new revenue model?

Today, interestingly, the transformation agenda-driven in two ways if I might look into it in some more details. We see sometimes that functions are getting transformed like supply chain in marketing sales, but also the other phenomenon which is becoming real in this digital world as they’re adopting digital initiatives is that some of these initiatives are pan enterprise. They’re breaking the boundaries of traditional functions. For example, a consumer packaged goods company today has to sell online. In that scenario, they have to really rethink how they’ve been doing sales, pricing, assortment planning. And it’s very different from what they’ve done in the brick and mortar world.

Aruna: So, all of this sounds very real. But there does seem to be quite a bit of skepticism about the ROI from AI investments. Do you think that’s justified?

Jit: Yes, in today’s world, there’s a lot of buzz around AI, but a lot of it is also real. And you’ll see it becomes more real when businesses are driving based on a used case than trying to be AI because it’s important to do. But what do you see in a lot of enterprises is that they have invested in technologies, but they’ve not made AI real. They’ve not got ROI away from some of the investments they have made and which is also an opportunity to partner with such enterprises in making AI real for them.

There’s also a risk of AI not being actionable. And we’ve seen that movie a decade back or so where a lot of enterprises invest in data systems and generated a lot of reports. But those reports were not actionable, and businesses could not really get ROI from the BI investments they had done. The same risk sits with AI as the biggest value of AI will come in when it becomes actionable and gets embedded back into business systems, and tomorrow AI will absolutely be invisible. But it’s also real that there’s not going back in this game just like the industrial revolution. I think the genie is out of the bottle, and you cannot put it back into the bottle. So rather than being a skeptic, I think it’s much better to adopt AI and realize value from AI.

Aruna: That’s interesting. So how do you see enterprises moving from being skeptics to adopters?

Jit: I think AI is a journey, but it’s very important to have value realization in every phase of the journey because that’s what executives are today, losing sleep over. And to extract value or ROI from AI, there are two things in my view, which are very important. I think one big part is about adoption because in most cases, people are focused on building a solution, but they’re not probably doing enough to simplify AI and making it available for business users to use it. Or to have business systems make it run automatically. So that would be one side of the coin, but the other side of the coin is also to be used case driven because otherwise, you’ll end up making a massive investment without getting sustainable ROI from it. So there’s a need to build confidence in AI through the right selection of use cases and right focus on adoption.

Aruna: Right. So it’s a journey. What challenges do you really foresee for CXOs in the AI Journey, and how do you think they could address it?

Jit: I think it’s very new. And in most of the cases, I see them having an inertia to get started. They don’t know really where to start a lot of this. They have an agenda; they have the transformation thinking in mind, but there’s a lot to be done in terms of deciding who could partner with them through the journey. The journey involves a lot of things and it’s not a single-threaded thing to build AI. There’s a need to think about the design of a solution. There’s a build exercise and build is not just algorithms. The build is also about a data pipeline or applications which business users can very easily use. Also, there has to be a focus on adoption and deployment. Post this; there needs to be the focus on tracking the value and monitoring outcomes coming out of it. This, in my view shows tremendous opportunities for analytics companies to take the high ground of AI and digital transformation and truly partner with enterprises through the entire journey of design, build, drive, adoption to see how to do sustainable value realization.

Aruna: OK. Thank you so much, Jit. Always a pleasure to talk to you!

Jit: Thank you, Aruna.

Aruna: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the AI to Impact Podcast. I really enjoyed talking with Jit, the CEO of BRIDGEi2i Analytics. It was interesting to talk about AI being a journey involving various components from design, to build, deploy and adoption. Value realization becomes real when enterprises adopt AI following a use case driven approach, and POC is the key to building confidence. If you found this interesting, please share it forward, especially as we continue the AI for the digital enterprise conversation with other experts and thought leaders. In fact, in our next episode I’ll be chatting with the COO about the different kinds of skills and capabilities that a driven digital transformation demands. So do subscribe, if that sounds like something you’d like to know more about. Thank you once again for tuning in. I’ll catch you next time. Bye!

The upswing in AI adoption and the impact of Digital initiatives in enterprise transformation have reached staggering heights, but there is still a lot of skepticism around the value realization of AI. BRIDGEi2i, a transformation partner to several large enterprises, has been spearheading an enterprise-wide movement on “Making AI Real.” In this series, we bring together reputed thought leaders, practitioners, and influencers of the industry as they discuss trends, predictions, and best practices on extracting tangible value from AI to embark on transformational journeys.

Meet the Speaker

Prithvijit Roy

Prithvijit Roy (Jit)

Prithvijit Roy (Jit) is the CEO and one of the co-founders of BRIDGEi2i with over 19 years of experience in the analytics industry. A Masters in Quantitative Economics from the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Calcutta, Prithvijit founded BRIDGEi2i in May, 2011. Prior to this, he was responsible for setting up the analytics shared services organization for Hewlett Packard (HP) across multiple global locations. He was also part of the leadership team in building GE’s Analytics Center of Expertise in India, and has worked at NIPFP and TERI.